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Species: Blue Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus columinus)
The Blue Oyster
Common Names: Blue Oyster
Like other oyster mushrooms, blues are among the fastest fruiting mushrooms out there and when conditions are right clusters can double in size within a day or two!
As the name suggests, their main distinguishing characteristic from other members of the genus is their striking blue colour which starts of as a deep blue during pinning and turning to a smoky grey as the mushroom matures.
These mushrooms can be easily grown inside but are particularly well suited to outdoor cultivation as they require a high level of fresh air exchange. However, like other members of the oyster family they are very prone to insect infestations including gnats and beetles so depending on your site, you may need to keep an eye on them and harvest relatively quickly after they start to fruit.
- Culinary mushroom
- Mushroom must be cooked prior to consuming
- Outdoors: Easy
- Indoors: Easy
- Hardwood forests
- Pasteurized agricultural by-products (e.g. straw)
- Nutrified hardwood sawdust
Inoculation to Fruiting Time
From 3 to 8 months depending on inoculation rate and site temperature
From 5 to 7 weeks
Fruiting is triggered when the temperature drops down to 7-18C and humidity drops to 85%
Harvest, Storage and Yields
- Harvest as caps flatten but before they curl upwards
- Remove the entire cluster (with mushrooms of various size) all at once by twisting off at the base
- Caution: when growing outside can be prone to insect infestation which can reduce quality and shelf life.
- IMPORTANT: when growing in beds outside, always positively ID your mushrooms as Blue Oyster before you consume it as wild species may also be growing in your bed! See ID Characteristics below
- Shelf life relatively good and will last longer if stored in clusters:
- Refrigerated at 3-6C for up to 2 weeks
- Do not rehydrate well after being dried
- Cooked and frozen
- Good yields with multiple flushes several weeks apart